Visiting the city of Antwerpen is whole lot of fun in itself. But as someone interested in Japanese culture, it’s a whole lot more.

After taking a round of snapshots of the local scenery I headed for a store named Hashi. A small but fun store located in a street named ‘Sint-Jorispoort’. You’ll find fun stuff like kokeshi (こけし, 小芥子) and maneki neko (招き猫). But also traditional teapots, cloth, hashi (Chopsticks, in case you wondered,) and hashioki. (Those little stones for under the chopsticks.)

A little sightseeing and a sandwich further, I stumbled on to the Japan center. Now this place has some very beautiful stuff! All kinds of furniture like futon’s and closets, fashion like kimono and samurai suits. All kinds of Japanese design and everyday items like sake sets, tea pots and of course, chopsticks.. I enjoyed browsing around this place!

When visiting Antwerpen, be sure to ask for the van Wesenbekestraat (Don’t bother, no-one knows it by it’s name) China-town, or China-street. It holds a treasure of Chinese stores and restaurants and a huge Asian supermarket with a Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean section. It has all your Asian cooking needs and far more wasabi than you could ever ask for. Such a shame they don’t sell any puccho-kun though. It’s hard to find my favorite candy in Europe! Also be sure to check the top floors of the Sun Wah supermarket. More traditional Asian cooking needs like plates, spoons and baskets.

Antwerp has so many Asian treats and influences, I wonder if I went to see Antwerp, or to see it’s Asian treasures! I mean, even the McD’s had a Tokyo subway theme going.


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